Our MC, Cara, is aided, abetted and driven nuts by her overbearing sisters and sister-in-law. All very 30 something and reminiscent of a European , slightly more mumsy, Sex in the City; here 4 very different women sit in cafes and take road trips. There is a lot of humor in the telling and a lot of love in the foursome. To some degree their complex lives needed filling out, but in this story they are definitely supporting cast.
The romance is amusing, their foibles and fears recognizable, as are the histories that have created them. This isn’t a “young love” story, these are women with established lives, however immature Cara’s life choices might be. In fact in some ways the arc of Cara’s development from a flibbertigibbet to a grown-up is stronger than the romance, while Jude’s personal issues are somewhat glossed over. There is a developing relationship, and a sizzling “fade to black” attraction, a significant amount of the novel is not, directly, about the courtship.
The story is written in the third person with a lot of retrospective description. Sections were passed over which was a shame, especially Cara’s relationship with Jude’s five year old, Zoe. I would assume English is not Ms Yeats first language, and there were times when the use of commas and choice of words did drop me out of the story to a degree.
Having said all that I enjoyed it, I think Ms Yeats has done a good job with this first novel and if anything I would urge her to be more ambitious, give more reign to the lovely humor, the well drawn familial relationships and her charming descriptions – fill in that supporting cast. I will certainly be looking for her future novels and look forward to watching her develop.
(publisher review copy received)
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